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5 Steps to Getting Started with an Enterprise Drone Program

Rosalie Bartlett  / 

Tags: Enterprise, Aggregates, Mining, Insurance, Construction

Drones are making an appearance at industry conferences around the world, and enterprises everywhere are using the technology to increase their bottom line and get an edge over the competition.  If you’ve been thinking about implementing drone technology but don’t know where to start, you’re not alone - understanding all of the elements of a drone program can be complicated. Organizations new to drones may need some convincing, but a strong value proposition and an organized plan can help you to sell the idea internally. Here are 5 steps for getting started.

1. Identify the value.  Enterprises are adopting drone technology at increasing rates because the ROI is so high – and easy to identify.  Firms all over the world are using the Kespry Automated Drone System to improve their systems and their bottom line.  Construction firms use drone technology to gain greater control and insight over their processes.  Using aerial data, companies can produce more accurate project estimates, monitor progress, track assets, and increase their profit margins.  Insurance organizations are able to reduce claim cycle times and staffing costs dramatically - companies using the Kespry solution say that automating inspections allows them to more than double the number of claims per day, while reducing costs.  Mining and aggregates enterprises use drone technology to measure stockpiles quickly and frequently, plan mining sites, and manage operations: one Kespry customer says that they have reduced their costs by 22%, measuring their stockpiles 2X more frequently while spending 4X less time overall. Do some research on industry sites, such as Drones at Work and review case studies to understand the value for your business.

“It used to take three to five people involved in an operation to get decent survey data and it would often take hours and hours. Now it’s one person and thirty minutes."

- David Lloyd, Mine Planning Engineer, APAC-Central (Oldcastle)

2. Learn the Regulations.  Drones are new technology – and the regulations are evolving rapidly.  An understanding of federal and local drone laws is critical to ensuring that your drone program is implemented smoothly.  Your company’s insurers will also need to know that your program is operating legally.  Staff members operating the drone will need to have a Part 107 Remote Pilot’s Certificate: other considerations depend upon your location and application. This can be a major hurdle to implementing a drone program if you don’t know how to navigate it. Luckily, Kespry works with customers to simplify staying on the right side of the regulations and get your operators FAA Part 107 certified.  Regulation details can be found on the Federal Aviation Administration website (www.Faa.gov/uas).

3. Outline the Requirements. Before choosing a technology partner, outline your requirements. What do you need the drone program to achieve? How often do you obtain data now, and what’s ideal?  What data would you like to see, and what should the output be? You’ll need to factor in staffing and the time it will take to get the technology implemented.  The cost of engaging with multiple vendors in a large enterprise should be evaluated against the efficiencies of a single vendor solution: like any complex system, integration of the workflow elements is a key factor. Kespry’s solution starts with a completely automated drone that can be operated with a few clicks on an iPad and ends with actionable data.  It’s designed to get your program up and running smoothly - and make your team’s job easier, not more complicated.

4. Choose a Partner. With your requirements outline, you’re in a position to choose a technology partner for your program.  It’s not always a good idea to start from a flat budget number - with drone technology, it’s all about the ROI.  The cost of the drones is only one element. When assessing true cost to get to ROI, include third party team costs, ease of use, training time, data processing charges, data storage charges, cloud service seat licenses, insurance, after-sales support for issues that come up and output to compatible file formats for use across your business are all important considerations.  Kespry’s system provides all of the pieces an enterprise needs -  drone, data processing, cloud services, data storage, insurance, support and training - in one proven package.

“We had already been researching and our research consultant was a surveyor. He understood drones, the software and the benefit of a high quality camera. He gave us a lot to start from, so when Kespry came into the conversation, it was pretty easy to get the ball rolling. They offered all the key features. In fact, it almost seemed too good to be true.”

- Trent Sieverding, Survey Manager, Wendling Quarries

5. Measure Success.  If you identified the value to your organization early on, you’ll already have an idea of how to measure success.  Make sure you are tracking all of the numbers.  Drone programs affect your staffing, equipment, communication and other costs.  Kespry’s customers have found that the proven reduction in costs and increase in production has led to expansion of the drone program throughout the enterprise as quantifiable ROI is realized.  Tracking your ROI from the beginning will ensure your program’s success.

“With the drone we can get a cost efficient and accurate measurement of our stockpiles every month, versus the quarterly measurements we were getting before.”

- Mike Moy, Operations Specialist, Lehigh Hanson

Getting started with a drone program may seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be, with the right partner.  Drones are being implemented on worksites around the globe, and becoming the standard in many industries, so don’t let your business fall behind. Make sure your enterprise is ready to compete, armed with the latest tools and the right support to make sure you’re successful.  

If you’re ready to get started, contact us today.